During the Fall TV season, I’m your trusty Will & Grace recapper. But as soon as that sun starts shining and the temperatures start rising, my social life swiftly flies out the window. And it’s all thanks to a batch of strangers who agree to live together for three months without contact with the outside world. It’s officially Big Brother season (or, as most people like to call it, summer), and try as I might, I just can’t seem to quit this show. I’ve watched every year since BB2, and no matter how many times mediocre seasons and bitter juries make me say this will be my last year, I always end up in front of my TV waiting to hear the first “But first…” of the season, because it’s not truly summer without Julie Chen alternating between the same five phrases every Thursday night (bless the Chenbot). I make sure I’m home every Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday night. I monitor the spoiler blogs. I discuss game strategy with other people. I briefly consider what it would be like to audition for the next season before I realize I couldn’t fuck with slop and I would probably self-evict after two hours in the Have Not room just to get some sleep. But this year, to commemorate the shows twentieth season, I’m taking it one step further.
This year, I’m dragging every last one of you down into the rabbit hole with me.
Welcome to “But First,” your round up of all the drama and all the gameplay before heading into the new week. I’ll give you everything you need to know about the last nomination, POV, eviction, and newly crowned HOH–in case you missed it, in case you forgot it, or in case you want to relive it for the hell of it–all in one good old-fashioned gif-cap. It’s like the “Previously on Big Brother” montages that start each episode, but with 100% less game show voiceover and 100% more pictures of drag queens and Angela Lansbury (I still have to stay on brand, you know). We’ve hit a milestone season, so I fully expect them to pull out all the stops to celebrate. When this game is good, it’s nuts. And when this game is bad, my sarcasm shoots through the roof. Either way, I think we’ve got an interesting season ahead of us. Because hey… I’ve got to do something until Will & Grace starts back up in October.
We’ve got a two-night premiere on our hands, sixteen new houseguests to meet, and a promise of a summer full of twists, turns, and the occasional back door, so please…dive into the madness with me.
GUYS, IT’S ALL NEW HOUSEGUESTS. I mean, sure, it was fun the first couple of seasons when vets would return, but we were long overdue to get a completely clean slate. Because how many times in a row can we really watch Paul come in second place?
Sam’s a welder, and it took all I had to not pause this and go watch Flashdance for a hot second. It also doesn’t help that I’m in the middle of rewatching The L Word, and all my feelings about Jennifer Beals have been re-ignited and are very real in my life right now.
Tyler looks like Frank from BB14/18 and it freaks me out. It’s mostly the hair, but still. I really don’t need another Frank, ESPECIALLY after that insanely misogynistic turn on BB18. He also straight up admitted that his brain is his biggest weakness during his intro, and how is any of this going to end well? Yeah…I wouldn’t be upset if Tyler went home soon.
Same goes for the dude who kissed his gun, and the guy who immediately wanted everyone to know he considers himself a bro during the intros. Nope. No, thank you. The hardest of passes, my friend.
Scottie, however, is being set up to become the next Dr. Ian Terry, and that dude won everything. So maybe watch out for this guy? Because he could sneak up on everyone.
The Chenbot promises high tech twists, upgraded powers and punishments, and “tech-tacular” competitions. We’ve also got “hacks, apps, and robots” on the docket. Remember the days where the biggest twist of the season was literally the Power of Veto. Those are a vague and distant memory now.
But then we get to the supercomputer comp, and the visuals are really…special? For some reason, this whole thing reminded me of what virtual reality was in the 90s. Also, my favorite is that the apparent running theme for this comp is that metallic silver = technology.
The winner gets to save eight people for the week. EIGHT PEOPLE. THAT’S HALF THE HOUSE. Is this why BB20 is poised to be one of the longest seasons of the game? Because no one ever goes home?
Angela floats the idea of an eight-person alliance ON DAY ONE if she wins the supercomputer comp. Swaggy C wins–keeping Scottie, Haleigh, Faysal, Kaycee, Rockstar, Rachel, Brett and himself safe–so I guess this is a moot point, but still…guys, this is season twenty. You guys are supposed to be superfans. You all know how this works. WHY DO YOU STILL THINK THIS IS A GOOD IDEA?
“I love you. You’re my best friend in the freakin’ house.” I mean, you’ve only been in the house for about twenty minutes, Swaggy C, but okay.
PRIDE, BUT THEN MAKE IT FASHION. Kaycee gets the first unitard of the season as a punishment, and honestly, where was this when I got dressed for Pride last weekend?
Oh, but it’s the pinwheel of doom. So basically, up until the first eviction, if the pinwheel starts spinning, she stays in whatever room she’s in until it stops. Because I guess they’re living in a giant malfunctioning MacBook now?
Sam is now a robot that kind of looks like a bootleg Zingbot. But it’s cool, because she’s in good company.
Wednesday was definitely not the first time I heard about the BB App Store, and I definitely still don’t get it. Do we need this? Is this the twist? Can we get a better twist? One that actually makes sense when you explain it to me?
HOH time, and we’re really going hard with the cyber comps. In case you didn’t realize they’re all living in a computer now.
Do we have to get all cute and alliterative with the deletion dots? Can’t we just call them what they really are?
Everyone’s ganging up on Steve and Sam during the HOH comp, and I don’t get it? They’re not threats, they could probably be swayed to nominate a certain way if they win HOH. One of them is a part-time robot. Why aren’t you focusing on the people who proved themselves in the last comp instead?
“It’s like watching a baby giraffe try ballet for the first time.” Look, if Haleigh is going to keep churning out A+ commentary in the diary room, I’m okay with her sticking around.
“Kaitlyn’s a weak competitor in this game.” Okay but HOW THE HELL DO YOU KNOW THAT, IT’S LITERALLY DAY TWO.
Frank Junior is the first HOH. It’s because I said I don’t like him. Right, universe?
“I don’t want this power at all.” Tyler. Tyler, listen to me. Listen. You literally just said you had to win HOH. You wanted to “control-alt-deletion dot” Bayleigh. What is your deal? Do you just want me to hate you?
(PS, I feel like I might have to keep that gif at the ready for future highlights. Call it a hunch. But this game can be insane sometimes. Stay tuned.)
Sam is going THROUGH IT this week. Between the punishment, and they way everyone ganged up on her during the HOH comp, she’s just not having a good run. And she seems so sweet, too, I just want to give her a hug.
“You obviously know this game very well.” The fact that anyone said this about Tyler after all this HOH nonsense makes me weep for what this season might be. What did I get myself into this season?
“I don’t know if I can put a robot on the block” is not something I ever thought I’d hear on this show, but then again…
Kaycee’s pinwheel spins so that she misses the nomination ceremony. Which just seems unnecessary? Of all the times to keep her isolated for punishment, you pick the one time where there’s information everyone’s going to get anyway? I…don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to work?
I really miss the drama of the old key box. Remember how it used to take like three hours to figure out who was nominated, and it unnecessarily amped up the tension by like five thousand percent? Those were good times.
Tyler nominates Sam and Steve for eviction. If the POV isn’t used, this is such a waste of an HOH, but can we just take a moment to appreciate the fact that they changed Sam’s memory wall picture to the robot? Good move, production team. Good move.
What did you think of the premiere? Do you have an early frontrunner? How do you think the rest of the week will play out? Let’s talk in the comments.